LACONIA — Brett Scott, the owner of Smokers Haven, a chain of tobacco and vape shops, said last week he expects to open the Laconia outlet at Busy Corner this week.
Scott said he originally planned to open by Nov. 1, but encountered delays in obtaining licenses to engage in the retail sale of tobacco and to allow patrons to sample tobacco products from the New Hampshire Liquor Commission.
"That has taken a little longer than expected," he said.
Smokers Haven will operate in the Lefebrve Building at 245 Union Ave., joining the chain of sister stores in stores in Manchester, Nashua and Epsom, all owned and operated by Scott. All four stores carry an extensive and diverse inventory of materials and paraphernalia tobacco catering to the varied tastes of all those who smoke or vape.
The 3,129-square-foot building at the corner of Winter Street, with an unfinished upper story of 2,340 square feet, was constructed in 1935 and was last home to Rent-A-Center, which moved downtown four years ago. Earlier this year, Scott purchased the building for $130,000, which has since been thoroughly renovated and remodeled.
The inventory will range from the conventional to the exotic, to include tobacco, cigarettes, rolling papers, pipes, water pipes, vaporizers, electric cigarettes, incense and various other accessories. The store will also house a hookah lounge, or shisha bar, where patrons can enjoy as many as 100 flavors of mu'assel or shisha, a syrupy tobacco mix laced with molasses and flavored with fruits, herbs an even gummy bears.
Scott's family, doing business as East West Distributors, began distributing cigarettes around New Hampshire in 2001, was among the first to offer roll-your-own supplies, opened several retail stores and soon became the largest tobacco distributor in the state.
Scott, who graduated from Spaulding High School in Rochester in 2010, began his first business in 2004 at the age of 12. Cash Today bought and sold all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles and personal watercraft like Jet Skis. In 2010, he opened Smoke-N-Discount near the Epsom traffic circle, which was rebranded as the Smokers Haven Superstore in 2014. Two years later he started Excel Realty Investments, which buys and sells properties in both New Hampshire and Maine. He said that his aim is to open stores throughout New England.
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